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Hi Carrie I see all these houses with great lights, always wanted a house all done up. However I have no idea how to do it. What is the best wat to start? Last year I hung some lights around the front door, and around two windows using a staple gun. My neighbor said that was not a good way of hanging lights. I saw some cosmic ribbons on U tube they looked awesome! Any ideas would be great.

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Hi Zach first how many lights can I plug in on one outlet. Where do you get your fancy controllers. I went to Lowe's today with my bff and all we got was more confused with all the different type of lights.

Welcome to the madness.


This is an excel speadsheet that you can use to help you fingure out the current draw from different items.

You will find many differnt type of items.

As far as the controllers, MANY different types. The only things that is the limit to this hobby/passion/affliction is time, money, and skills.

So, if you have various skills, you could make/build items, if not, then you have to buy them. The more time you have, the more you can do yourself, otherwise, you buy something.

Watch videos, and find out what you like, and don't like. Read, and search the forums, you will have a grat display in no time.


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Im not an engineer, im just an average 16 year old with a hobby:D

If you are going to try to do an animated display this year, you pretty much WAY to late. Even if you get the controllers by the end of November, you still have to sequence which takes hours.

The best and most popular place to get controllers is Light-O-Rama, they have the color cosmic ribbons you saw in the U tube video you mentioned. there website is www.lightorama.com

If you are looking for a more cheaper and more hands on way of doing things, try doityourselfchristmas.com or diylightanimation.com I use the DIY controllers from there, and they work great. But you do have to know how to solder though.

Personally, if I were you, I would just go with a static display this year, and get as many lights as you can possible fit in your car at the after christmas sales and start planning for next year! I am making plans for next year already. And start sequencing ASAP, it can take months and months to create a good quality show.

If you have any specific questions you can PM me, or anyone on this forum.

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Light-O-Rama has a good video explanation of that product, here: http://lightorama.com/CosmicColorRibbon.html

Like others have said, you really need to get started ASAP, first by deciding how much you want to spend and then what you can realistically afford and have time for. I think most here got their start with static displays that grew over time. That gives you opportunities to figure out what you like, what looks nice, and what you enjoy doing.

As far as engineers here, no. Just hobbyists. I myself am a software engineer, but you don't have to be a software guru or engineer to use LOR or have an awesome Christmas display. Just time, money and a love of Christmas and all things blinky and flashy.

This is a great hobby that has lots of different components! Welcome to the madness!

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LED versus regular - now this will be a "can of worms" you opened up!

I personally would suggest going for the more energy efficient LED - that is, if you like the color and can afford the price. Some people don't like the true color of LED and prefer the soft warm tones of incandescent lights. It is a personal choice. The huge advantage of LED is with some types, you can plug 26 strings together compared to only 4 with incandescent lights. Your power bill will also see a change. Some here have had to have significant wiring and circuits added to handle their display which is something else to keep in mind when making your selection.

Also, if you can afford the LED, watch the sales and get commercial grade! Those darn lead leads of the LED lights will rust before you even put them outside (or so it seems) unless you either coat them or get sealed strings.

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Wow that was fun, bought 120 boxes of leds. The guy at lowes is bring his ladder over tomorrow, and said he would help put them up!!! Can't wait. He said we would buy extension cords after we figure it out. He had me buy 7 boxes of gutter hooks, and duct tape. I also bought an inflatable snowman!!!!!

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